Five Tips to Being a Great Landlord

Break-In Detail #1
Creative Commons License photo credit: timsamoff

Want to be a great landlord but don’t know where to start? The following five tips will get you up and running and keep you in your tenant’s good graces. They’ll also help you increase your income and get the most out of your property.

1)The Right Tenants. Screen every single tenant the same way to avoid any question of prejudice. And make those screenings very, very thorough so you get a good feel for the prospective tenant’s level of responsibility, both personally and financially.

2)Write it Down. First sit down and determine what you will allow and won’t. Write all of your requirements down. Research other leases to see what elements you might be missing. Create a lease that is signed by both you and the tenant which includes, in writing, every aspect of the agreement. If you need to, add additional stipulations as they arise.

3)Maintain your Property. Keep up with repair requests and perform all regular maintenance in a timely manner. You’re not just trying to keep your tenants happy and healthy, but you’re also aiming to get the very most out of your property.

4)Respect your Tenants. Once your tenants have moved in you need to respect their privacy and right to live in your property. Don’t enter the premises without good reason and without giving proper notice. If there is an emergency, such as a fire or flood, you can enter without notice but should make contacting the residents a top priority.

5)Security. Tenants want to feel safe, they want to know their children are safe. Your job is to provide a secure premises with adequate lighting. If there is crime in the area, contact the local police department to see what they recommend. Get involved and be concerned.

By following these tips you will earn the respect of your tenants, your peers and your prospective tenants. A good reputation in the landlord business is essential and will bring you a greater return on your investment.